you are interested in becoming a railroader my first advice would be to
take the time and really learn the inner details about the industry
before diving into a career as such. This is simply to give you a heads
up about what to expect if you are unfamiliar with railroads, or at
least what a job working for one
is like. On Class Is, especially, 12-hour work days are almost normal
and days off are often unusual. While smaller regional and shortline
railroads do offer a better schedule, Class Is offer unmatched pay,
benefits, and retirement. For instance, engineers can easily clip an annual salary at, or over, six-digits. Overall, it comes down to whether you feel the pay is worth the time
away from home and family as railroading is not for everyone. Please keep in mind that while I try to
keep this information as updated as possible I cannot guarantee that it
is always entirely accurate. In any event, if you are pursuing a
bachelors or advanced degree in the field of business, management, or
related subject (such as economics or accounting), you might want to
take the time to peruse the programs some Class Is have to offer, which include internships and graduate
Short Lines And Regionals
Indiana & Ohio Railway: The I&O is now part of Genesee & Wyoming's large family of railroads and operates through Ohio,
mostly west of Columbus. Overall the company owns nearly 600 miles of
unconnected lines and interchanges with all of Ohio's Class I railroads.
Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway: The W&LE dates back to the
1870s, originally envisioned to serve Lake Erie ports with the coal
fields of northern West Virginia, northeastern Ohio, and northwestern
Pennsylvania. The original company was dissolved by Norfolk Southern in
1989 but was reborn a year later when the Class I spun off almost all
of the original W&LE, Pittsburgh & West Virginia, and Akron,
Canton & Youngstown trackage giving the new Wheeling & Lake Erie
nearly 600 miles of wholly owned property. Today, with trackage rights
the W&LE operates nearly 1,000 miles of railroad and connects with
all of Ohio's Class Is and a number of smaller lines.
|It's the early CSX era and lots of different paint schemes are now converging at the Chessie System's former Queensgate Yard in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 28, 1987.|
Akron Barberton Cluster Railway: This shortline has been in
operation since 1994 and operates about 73 miles of track serving the
Akron region. To contact the railroad; 43 2nd Street, Barberton, Ohio
Ann Arbor Railroad: This historic short line, now a Watco property, dates back to the
late 19th century and its peak connected Toledo with Frankfort,
Michigan. However, today, the reborn Ann Arbor system only serves Ann
Arbor and Toledo.
Ashland Railway: This shortline operates two lines radiating
northward from Mansfield, with one reaching West Salem and the other
serving Willard. Overall, the railroad operates nearly 60 miles of
Ashtabula, Carson & Jefferson Railroad: This six-mile
shortline serves the area around Jefferson and also provides summertime
excursions for the public.
Camp Chase Industrial Railroad: This terminal railroad serves
western Columbus, switching a number of industries in the area.
Central Railroad of Indiana: This shortline, also owned by G&W, is mostly situated in southeastern Indiana although it also
reaches Cincinnati. Overall the railroad operates nearly 100 miles of
Chicago, Fort Wayne & Eastern Railroad: The CFW&E is yet
another G&W short line operating over 300 miles of railroad in
northern Indiana and Ohio connecting Tolleston (near Chicago) with
Cleveland Commercial Railroad: This small shortline serves
industries near the city of Cleveland. To contact the company; 7632
Bond Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44139-5351.
Columbus & Ohio River Rail Road: This large short line, a G&W property, serves
central and eastern Ohio operating nearly 250 miles of track between
Mingo Junction at the border of West Virginia with Columbus.
Flats Industrial Railroad: The Flats Industrial Railroad, which
has been in operation since 1996, also serves the industries surrounding
Cleveland. To contact the company; 1757 Columbus Road, Cleveland, Ohio
Indiana Eastern Railroad: The Indiana Eastern Railroad operates former
C&O trackage between Richmond, Indiana and Fernald, Ohio with a
connection to both CSX and Norfolk Southern.
Indiana Northeastern Railroad: The Indiana Northeastern
Railroad has been in operation since 1992 and today serves the corners
of three states; Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. The railroad connects to
Norfolk Southern in Montpelier, Ohio and operates a system covering
about 120 miles.
Lake Terminal Railroad: This shortline is a Transtar property
and operates a switching railroad serving industries located near Lorain
based along Lake Erie.
Lorain Northern Railroad: 2199 East 28th Street, Lorain, Ohio 44055.
Mahoning Valley Railway: This railroad is owned by Genesee &
Wyoming and operates just a short, six-mile section of track near
Youngstown with connections to both CSX and NS.
Napoleon, Defiance & Western Railroad: This historic short line between
Woodburn, Indiana and Toledo, Ohio but today only reaches as far east as
Liberty. It is now a Pioneer RailCorp subsidiary.
Newburgh & South Shore Railroad: This historic railroad, now
an OmniTRAX company, once served the steel mills located near
Cleveland. However, today, it operates about five miles of track
hauling a wide range of freight (including steel).
Northern Ohio & Western Railway: The NO&W is another
OmniTRAX property operating 25 miles of railroad between Tiffin and
Woodville with connections to both CSX and NS.
Ohi-Rail Corporation: This small shortline operates former New
York Central branch lines between Minerva and Hopedale with connections
to Norfolk Southern, W&LE.
Ohio Central Railroad: Today, the Ohio Central system is part of
Genesee & Wyoming operating 70 miles of former Pennsylvania
Railroad trackage in central Ohio between Zanesville and Brewster.
Ohio Southern Railroad: Another Genesee & Wyoming shortline
the railroad connects Zanesville with New Lexington and Glenford. The
company has interchanges with both CSX and Norfolk Southern.
Republic N&T Railroad: This short line has been in operation
and leases trackage owned by Norfolk Southern near Canton. To contact
the company; 2633 8th Street Northeast, Canton, Ohio 44704-2311.
R.J. Corman Railroad: RJ Corman operates a variety of
rail-related businesses, including shortlines. It currently owns to
lines in Ohio including a 55-mile section between Warwick and
Uhrichsville, and another 51-mile section between Lima and Portland,
US Rail Corporation: US Rail operates several shortlines in the
eastern United States, including three lines in Ohio near Cleveland,
Jackson, and Hamilton.
Warren & Trumbull Railroad: The W&T is another Genesee
& Wyoming shortline, that operates just four miles of track east of
Warren with connections to both CSX and Norfolk Southern.
|Pittsburgh & Lake Erie MP15DCs #1594 and #1591 ease through the Center Street interlocking at Youngstown, Ohio performing regular switching chores while a Conrail freight waits for the main to clear on June 26, 1983.|
Youngstown & Austintown Railroad: Another Genesee property,
the Y&A is also quite small operating just five miles near
Youngstown and also connecting to both NS and CSX.
Youngstown Belt Railroad: This short line is Genesee &
Wyoming's largest in northeast Ohio operating 13 miles of railroad
between Ravenna and Youngstown with connections to several railroads
including NS and CSX.
Youngstown & Southeastern Railroad: The Y&S is owned by
the Indiana Boxcar Corporation and has been in operation since 2006
running between Youngstown, Ohio and Darlington, Pennsylvania.